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Supreme Court Refuses To Block Same-Sex Marriages In Florida

Same Sex Marriage Supreme Court

More interesting developments from the Supreme Court on what has been one of the biggest legal stories of 2014.

F.C.C. Rejects Petition To Declare ‘Redskins’ An Obscene Word

Washington Redskins Helmet

Not surprisingly, the F.C.C. has rejected a petition to ban the word “Redskins” from the airwaves.

Oklahoma And Nebraska Sue Colorado Over Marijuana Legalization

Colorado Marijuana

Nebraska and Oklahoma are suing Colorado over the Centennial State’s decision to legalize marijuana, but they don’t seem to have much of a case.

Federal Judge Kind Of, Sort Of Finds Obama’s Immigration Action Unconstitutional In Poorly Reasoned Decision

constitution-preamble-gavel

A Federal Judge has issued a ruling that sort of says that President Obama’s Immigration action is unconstitutional. Except it’s poorly reasoned, and apparently not legally binding on anyone.

Sandy Hook Shooting Families File Legally Dubious Lawsuit Against AR-15 Manufacturer

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The families of many of the Sandy Hook victims are seeking to have the manufacturer of the AR-15 held legally responsible for what happened. While understandable, their lawsuit is misplaced and largely without legal merit.

Supreme Court: Police Can Make ‘Reasonable’ Mistakes Of Law In Executing A Traffic Stop

Police Cars Traffic Stop

The Supreme Court says that police who have a “reasonable” misunderstanding of the law can still pull you over.

The Amorality Of Dick Cheney And The Right In Response To The Truth About C.I.A. Torture

Dick Cheney

Vice-President Cheney’s amoral defense of torture has come to define how most conservatives view the issue, and that’s a problem.

Sony Seeks To Scare Press Away From Publishing Information Obtained in Hacking Attack

Sony Sign

Sony is warning the press not to publish material leaked by hackers, but it doesn’t have much of a legal leg to stand on.

Hostage Crisis In Sydney, Australia Cafe Apparently Linked To Terrorism

APTOPIX Australia Police Operation   TOK801

A hostage crisis has been unfolding overnight at a cafe in Sydney, Australia that has apparent links to international terrorism.

Justice Department Won’t Force One Reporter To Testify, Faces A Choice On Another

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The Justice Department won’t force James Risen to testify in a legal investigation, but faces a new choice in a different case.

Arbitrator Upholds Adrian Peterson Suspension

Adrian Peterson

Unlike Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson has lost his bid to have his suspension overturned.

Republicans Seek To Use Budget To Block D.C. Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana

The budget bill Congress set to pass Congress would effectively reverse the will of the voters of Washington, D.C., who just voted to legalize marijuana.

Columbia Law School To Let Students Postpone Exams Due To “Trauma” Over Ferguson, Garner

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Apparently, law schools are in the business of coddling their special snowflake children now.

Torture Report’s Long Shadow

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What now?

Bill Cosby vs. Ben Roethlisberger

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Chris Rock wants us to remember that Bill Cosby isn’t the only celebrity accused of rape.

Supreme Court: Amazon Employees Don’t Have To Be Paid To Wait In Line To Leave Work

Amazon.com Fernley warehouse

The Court holds that Federal Law does not require employees to be paid for the time waiting to get through mandatory security screening.

Independent Prosecutors For Police Misconduct Cases Is An Idea Whose Time Has Come

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Many have suggested that prosecution of cases involving police misconduct should be handled by prosecutors who don’t work with local police departments on a regular basis. They’re right.

Law (and Law Enforcement) Need not Lead to Violence

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Despite some of the commentary on threads from recent posts, the presence of the law does not mean that force is around the corner (or that law enforcement officers have no choice but resort to violence in the face of malefactors). Via AL.com: Police officer buys eggs for woman caught shoplifting to feed her family […]

Supreme Court To Decide If State Can Deny License Plate With Confederate Flag Design

Texas Confederate License Plate

The Supreme Court is set to decide if the state can deny a license plate with the Confederate flag design because it is “offensive.”

On Resisting Arrest

law-scales-justice-flag

Several of my recent posts have been on the question of whether a specific law can be said to be to blame for outcomes like the Eric Garner situation or whether it is about the enforcement of those laws (and the behavior of the police). To add some numbers to that debate we have the […]

11th Circuit Strikes Down Florida Law Mandating Drug Tests For Welfare Recipients

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For the fourth time in three years, a Federal Court has ruled that Florida’s law requiring drug tests for welfare recipients is unconstitutional.

What Happens To The GOP If (When) SCOTUS Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage Nationwide?

GOP Rainbow Flag

How will Republicans react if, as many expect, the Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage across the nation?

On “Black-on-Black” Crime

crime tape

Yet another example of the need for context when discussing stats.

Poll Find Wide Racial Divisions Over Confidence In Law Enforcement And The Justice System

Ferguson

Not surprisingly a new poll finds that African-Americans perceive the American justice system far differently than whites.

On “Broken Windows” Policing

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Worth a read from Slate:  Broken Windows Policing Doesn’t Work.

Mississippi 1964? No, Missouri 2014

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But, hey, don’t worry, there’s nothing racial going on here. Nothing at all.

A Quick Observation on the “Too Many Laws” Argument (as Linked to Garner)

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While I need to formulate (and am working on it, in fact) more well developed response to the discussion of the role played by the law on cigarettes in the death of Eric Garner, I do have a simple response I want to note (it is a thought that has occurred to me more than […]

Rolling Stone Walks Back Key Allegations Of Campus Rape Expose

Rolling Stone Rape UVa Headline

An utter journalistic failure from Rolling Stone.

The Eric Garner Case Is About Excessive Force And Unequal Justice, Not Cigarette Taxes

Eric Garner NYPD Chokehold

While conservatives have been generally as appalled as others with the news out of Staten Island, some of them are looking in the wrong place for blame.

Texas, 16 Other States, File Lawsuit Over Obama’s Immigration Executive Action

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Texas has joined with 16 other states in a lawsuit against the Obama Administration over the President’s executive action on immigration. At first glance, it doesn’t appear to have much legal merit.

Blue Trumps Black and White

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A former RNC chair says a black man’s life isn’t worth a ham sandwich.

Staten Island Grand Jury Refuses To Indict NYPD Officer In Chokehold Death

Eric Garner NYPD Chokehold

A New York City Grand Jury refuses to indict a cop who appears from all available evidence to choked a guy to death for no good reason.

No, Michael Brown’s Stepfather Should Not Be Charged With Incitement To Riot

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Michael Brown’s stepfather made incendiary comments in the wake of the Grand Jury announcement, but they do not amount to a crime.

Supreme Court Searches For Dividing Line Between Free Speech And Illegal Online Threats

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The Justices of the Supreme Court seemed to struggle yesterday to find an easy way to draw a line between protected speech and the kind of threats that are not protected by the First Amendment.

Will The Supreme Court Be The Most Important Issue Of The 2016 Elections? Probably Not

Supreme Court Justices 2

The next President will have a profound ability to shape the future of the Supreme Court, but that is unlikely to be the most important issue on voters minds in 2016.

The U.S. Government Wants Lawyers To Come Work For Free!

Attorney In Court

The U.S. Government is looking for lawyers willing to work for free.

Darren Wilson Resigns From Ferguson Police Department, But That’s Unlikely To Quell Protests

Darren Wilson

The man who shot and killed Michael Brown has resigned, but that’s unlikely to satisfy protesters who still seem to be demanding criminal charges that are never going to come.

Ray Rice Wins Appeal Of Indefinite N.F.L. Suspension, Now Immediately Eligible To Play

ray-rice-janay-rice

In a slap to the face of the N.F.L. and Commissioner Roger Goodell, an arbitrator has overturned the indefinite suspension that was imposed on former Ravens Running Back Ray Rice back in September.

Supreme Court To Try To Draw Line Between Free Speech Online And Criminal Threats

Sex on laptop computer. Pornography

Next week, the Supreme Court will be asked to determine the line between free speech online and criminal threats

Justice Ginsburg Has Successful Heart Surgery

ruth-bader-ginsburg-civvies

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is spending Thanksgiving in the hospital after undergoing a procedure to place a stent to deal with an arterial blockage: WASHINGTON — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a heart procedure on Wednesday morning and was expected to leave the hospital within the next two days, the Supreme Court announced. […]

Federal Judges In Mississippi And Arkansas Strike Down Same-Sex Marriage Bans

Gay Marriage Wedding Cake Two Women

Federal Judges in two of the most southern of southern states have struck down bans on same sex marriage in Mississippi and Arkansas: LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas and Mississippi became the latest two states Tuesday to have their gay marriage bans overturned by federal judges, but there are no rushes to the altar […]

Regardless Of The Grand Jury Decision, Ferguson Raises Issues Americans Need To Address

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Regardless of the outcome of the Michael Brown investigation, there are legitimate problems that need to be addressed.

The House Lawsuit Against Obama; Full Of Sound And Fury, Signifying Nothing

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The House of Representatives has filed its lawsuit against the President. As expected, it doesn’t amount to much.

Violence Erupts In Wake Of Decision To Forego Indictment In Shooting Of Michael Brown

Ferguson

Not surprisingly, last night’s announcement that there would be no state court indictment in the Michael Brown shooting led to violence and confrontations with police. That’s not going to solve any of the real problems that face Ferguson, or any other community in the United States.

Ferguson Grand Jury Returns No Indictment In Michael Brown Shooting

Protests Continue In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man

A not unexpected decision from the Grand Jury that investigated the Michael Brown shooting.

Federal Judge Blocks New Jersey Sports Betting, But N.B.A. Commissioner Says ‘Legalize It’

Baseball And Cash

Once again, a Federal Judge has barred New Jersey’s effort to legalize sports betting based on Federal law. it’s time for the Federal Government to get out of the way on this issue.

Obama’s Executive Action, The Law, And The Constitution

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On a preliminary examination, the President’s executive action on immigration appears to be within the boundaries of applicable law. However, as with other exercises of Executive Branch authority, it raises some important concerns about the precedent that it sets.

DOJ Finds President Lacks Authority to Take Action He Took Next Day

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The Office of Legal Counsel told the president Wednesday he couldn’t do what he did on Thursday.

GOP Options In Response To Obama’s Executive Action Are Limited, Perhaps Non-Existent

Capitol Building Dusk

In the end, there appears to be very little, if anything, the GOP can do to stop or roll back the executive actions the President will announce Thursday evening.

There’s Little Evidence That Voter ID Laws Impacted The 2014 Elections

Voter ID Required Sign

Based on the available evidence, there’s very little evidence that Voter ID laws had a significant impact on the midterm elections.

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